The Bunke family and Bunke Family Ministries has chosen to continue to bring forth good on the 10th anniversary of a tragic auto accident which claimed the lives of two family members with a rally and meal honoring public servants set for Saturday at Temple Baptist Church.
“I am so excited. We see it as a celebration,” said Paul Bunke. “We see this as a victory. I truly feel in any other community we would not have gotten the support we received. It’s a example of the caliber of people in this area.”
He also said rally and meal represents a chance for the family to pay forward the kindness of public servants who helped them. The meal is set to begin at 4:30 p.m. at Temple Baptist Church and is open to all public servants in the area. The rally is set to begin at 6 p.m. and is open to the public. Both events are free.
“We have personally seen their (public servants) stress level at our own accident scene. They see this on a daily basis. It has touched us so much. They see the worst and they are the best in our community,” Bunke said. “A lot of them (including the State Highway Patrol officers) know our story personally better than the public does. What we are also about here is to show that because of God’s grace how good has come from this.”
The featured speaker for the event is Dr. Kenny Baldwin, pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church in the Washington, D.C., area. Baldwin serves as senior pastor for the church. He was saved at the age of 4 and called to preach soon thereafter. According to Bunke, he is nationally recognized as a dynamic and effective young preacher in great demand.
Baldwin and his wife, Bethany, have two sons, Kevin and Kenneth, and two daughters, Karmen and Khloe. Additionally, Baldwin has three young men he has embraced as his own sons: Troy, Peter and Mark. His biographic profile indicates he loves young people, basketball and reruns of “Matlock.” Baldwin’s brother, Dr. Michael Baldwin, will be featured at the rally and will direct a choir including volunteers from local churches.
Bunke said the ideas for the meal and the rally came to him on the ninth anniversary of the tragedy. He said the family felt that too often emergency medical services, fire and law enforcement personnel are taken for granted and this anniversary would “be the right time to do this.” He said they are considering organizing another event which would feature a local team of basketball all-stars in a game which would use the sport to communicate the gospel to sports fans.
“The homecooked meal will be provided by the ladies of Temple Baptist,” Bunke said. “We would just love to have a lot of people come out. We expect a good crowd. Temple will hold 1,000 people and I’d like to test that out.”
For those not familiar with the accident, on Aug. 4, 2003, Sara Bunke was killed when the pickup truck her father Paul was driving outside of Dobson, was struck by an sport utility vehicle driven by what was later determined to be a drunk driver. Also in the truck were her brothers Philip and Paul Jr. Philip was 5 and Paul Jr. was 7 at the time of the accident. Paul’s wife, Rebecca, was not involved in the accident.
Paul, Philip and P.J. were transported to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, where two days later Philip died from his injuries. Paul has recovered from knee surgery, while P.J. has recovered from his injuries as well. P.J. is now 17, Joseph is 13, Joshua and Caleb are 10, Daniel is 7, John David is 4 and Josiah is 2 years old.
Reach David Broyles at email@example.com or 719-1952.